Questions about feeding discus
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Old 06-28-2012, 05:33 PM   #1
catg
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Questions about feeding discus


Hey guys,
I got some discus from a local breeder a couple months ago, and I have some questions about feeding them. I had done quite a bit of research before I got them, but some of it seemed contradictory, and other info seemed outdated, so it was confusing.

The breeder said he only feeds frozen bloodworms, but I thought that seemed like bad advice. I already had Omega One pellets and krill on hand for them, plus the bloodworms, but I could only get them to eat the bloodworms. I went out and bought frozen beef heart and frozen mysis shrimp, and they do eat those. Are the bloodworms, shrimp, and beefheart enough? I cannot seem to get them to eat the other things. I was really hoping they would eat the freeze-dried krill (hikari brand) because it seems to have lots of vitamins in it, but they don't touch it. Can you grind freeze-dried krill up in a blender? If so, is there anything I can add to it to bind it in a cube form and freeze? I think the krill are too big for them to eat, and they never seem to sink. Since my discus like to eat mainly off the bottom, I thought that grinding it up and adding something to make it sink would get them to eat it. I could also maybe add some of the pellets to the mix to get them to eat those as well.

Any advice is appreciated, as I want to make sure they are getting the nutrition they need.

Thanks!
Cat
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Old 06-28-2012, 08:28 PM   #2
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As you suspect, the freeze-dried krill may be in pieces that are too large, so they would need to be cut up a bit, and soaked in water for a few minutes beforehand, to get them sinking. I need to do that with freeze-dried blackworms.
Most discus can eventually be persuaded to eat almost anything. Try mixing small portions of any new foods in with the frozen bloodworms (soaked) - they should eventually come around to trying the new food amongst the BW's.
Another thing that often works is mixing a little finely minced garlic in with any new foods. Discus seem to like the flavor and aroma of garlic (as most of us humans do), and can be enticed to eat foods with garlic mixed in.
They should take to mysis shrimp, or larger brine shrimp.
It definitely would be beneficial to vary their diet as much as possible & to try giving them some fibres to upgrade their diet.

You could try Tetra Color Granules or Tetramin Tropical Crisps - my discus love them.

Your thoughts about grinding the krill up with other foodstuffs is a good one. Mix them in with a little liquid (water), ground with shrimpmeat, prawns, or other (human consumption) seafoods, along with flakes, pellets, whatever. Should be readily freezable in small chunks which would be convenient to feed. Many discus-keepers make up their own recipes, adding some green veggie matter as well - lettuce, kale, broccoli, spirulina, you name it.
Make up a recipe yourself for grinding & freezing.
Hope this helps.
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Old 06-28-2012, 08:56 PM   #3
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Thanks so much for the advice! I will see about getting a blender and see if I can get the krill to grind up. My concern with that though is that I don't know if the thawed ground krill will stay at the bottom. The krill I have do not sink, even after being in the tank for several hours.

As far as the fresh seafood goes, I have to say I am a bit leary about using that. Years ago, my daughter had a couple of small freshwater crabs. She had had them for months when I decided to buy some catfish nuggets to feed them. Within a couple of days of feeding them the catfish, the crabs were dead and there were several little worms crawling all over the tank. I can only assume that these worms were present in the catfish, and they got introduced when I fed it to her crabs. I felt absolutely horrible. I would hate to introduce tapeworms/roundworms/what - have - you by using uncooked, unsterilized seafood.

As for the garlic, I have a jar of minced garlic that I could easily rinse and add to the mix. How many granules should I add to a regular icecube size chunk? Maybe one or 2?

Thanks!
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Old 06-28-2012, 09:30 PM   #4
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Interesting about the catfish nuggets. I suspect that besides apparently introducing worms,
which I believe would likely be harmless to fish (they eat all kinds of worms), the additives and preservatives used in those types of products would have played a big part in the crabs' demise.
I have often used cut up very small pieces of fresh shrimp, and the discus seem to love it.
Your krill not sinking seems strange, mine certainly does.
Re; the garlic - try adding about a 1/2 dozen very small granules.
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Old 06-28-2012, 09:38 PM   #5
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Thanks again for the advice! I will head out this weekend and see if I can't make some sort of ground up fishy yumminess and get these guys on a varied, and hopefully healthy, diet.

If I can't get the krill to grind up properly, or if I can't get it to sink so they will eat it, would they be ok with just mysis shrimp, beef heart, and bloodworms? Or is that still not nutritious enough?

Thanks again!
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Old 06-28-2012, 10:46 PM   #6
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They'll do ok with that, but more variety would be preferable.
Those 3 foods are pretty much all protein, except perhaps the beefheart if it is a formula that contains other foodstuffs.
The Hikari frozen foods (mysis shrimp and bloodworms ?) usually do contain a modest amount of vitamins, and other foodstuff material, so that's helpful.
Please don't give up trying to get them eating some Omega One flakes, or National Life Spectrum foods (NLS), along with perhaps some Discus Bio-Gold pellets, and the granules & crisps I mentioned. The more diversity, the better.
They also might pick at Algae Thins resting on the bottom (a veggie) - mine do.
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Old 06-28-2012, 11:15 PM   #7
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Mine get beef heart, blood worms, brine shrimp (infused with spirulana) Cyclops mostly for the tetras. also readily eat some sinking fry starter pellets I got from angels plus.



Friend is going to get me another beef heart soon, going to try and make something they like this time. going to use a meat grinder this time instead of making a puree via the food processor. mine don't seem to like it that fine

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Old 06-28-2012, 11:24 PM   #8
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To add a little more variety, Catg, consider ordering some Australian freeze-dried blackworms from aquaticsuppliers.com .
A good reliable company owned by Al Sabetta of simplydiscus.com.
Prices are reasonable, deliveries anywhere are quick and sure, and most discus go wild over this product.
I usually feed these worms twice a week, and my discus love them.
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Old 06-28-2012, 11:30 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by discuspaul View Post
To add a little more variety, Catg, consider ordering some Australian freeze-dried blackworms from aquaticsuppliers.com .
A good reliable company owned by Al Sabetta of simplydiscus.com.
Prices are reasonable, deliveries anywhere are quick and sure, and most discus go wild over this product.
I usually feed these worms twice a week, and my discus love them.
going to have to check that out myself

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Old 06-29-2012, 01:49 PM   #10
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Thanks for the suggestions everyone! I will see if I can get them to eat some of this other stuff.

Thanks again!
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